Massive illegal dump in the middle of Corbin cleaned up with grant funds
The site of a massive illegal dump in Corbin is now clean thanks to grant funds received by the county.
A massive illegal tire dump nestled in a gully right in the middle of the city of Corbin is now gone, and county officials say they are targeting several more dumpsites this year with grant funds they've received to alleviate the problem.
Amber Owens, Director of County Projects for the Whitley County Fiscal Court, said the dumpsite, located between Bishop and Maynor Streets, was scoured clean last Wednesday. She said about 400 tires were pulled from the site. Many looked as though they had been there for decades; rotted and covered in moss.
"Some of the tires were even buried and you could tell they had been there for a long time," Owens said. "That one was sort of a surprise because it was right in the middle of town. YouÕd be surprised where people will dump this stuff."
The county paid $5,300 to complete the cleanup project, which was less than the state estimate. Local independent contractor Eskridge Shelton was the low bidder. Owens said heÕs a regular bidder on dumpsite cleanups.
Money for the project was awarded to the county from the state Division of Waste Management. Whitley County received $137,000 this year to clean up a total of five illegal dumpsites in the county. Counties that received the grants must match 25 percent of the funds.
"This grant is a great opportunity to get these places cleaned up," Owens said. "We live in one of the most beautiful areas of the state and I hate to see trash laying around. We are constantly looking for dumpsites to target in the future."
The Corbin dumpsite was a surprise to residents and city officials who had no idea it even existed. It was discovered by Bishop Street resident Dennie Comer when he was picking up trash around an elderly neighbor's yard.
"I thought, woah! That's a pretty big dump to be right in the middle of Corbin," Comer said. "I was kind of surprised I was living so close to it and never really knew anything about it."
Hundreds of old tires and some other refuse like small appliances and trash were piled into the gully which runs from an auxiliary parking lot across the street from Doctor's Park all the way to Maynor Street below. A small stream ran through the middle of the mess.
Once notified of the dump, Corbin Building Inspector Frank Burke visited the site and went back again with Whitley County Solid Waste Coordinator Danny Moses to assess the situation. Moses said the county would have liked to clean up the dump a year ago, but a grant application for cleanups at that time had already been submitted and could not be changed.
Burke said the dump likely formed in this particular location because of ease of access and the fact it is relatively hidden. A paved parking lot leads close to the drop off that descends into the gully.
Burke said he suspects individuals who don't want to pay fees for disposal of tires, along with unscrupulous auto shops who likely collect the fee, then dump the tires illegally in order to increase profits are no doubt to blame for the problem.
Owens said, at times, the county would try to hold property owners responsible for some portion of the cleanup. In this case, it would have problematic since the site was exactly at the intersection of three separate properties owned by three separate property owners.
Owens said tires from the dump were taken to a center in McCreary County to be recycled.
Corbin Mayor Willard McBurney said he is thankful the dump was cleaned up last week.
"Besides the fact that it just looks terrible, we worry about kids getting into places like that and getting hurt," McBurney said.
"Its kind of shocking to think something like that built up right in the middle of Corbin. We are glad it is gone."
Owens said four other dumps are being targeted for elimination this year including:
¥ A large scrapyard in the southeast portion of the county of Hwy. 1804;
¥ A roadside dump off of South Hwy. 25 near the Pleasant View community;
¥ A dump in southern Whitley County on Kenny Bug Road
¥ A dump on Hwy. 2792 (old 92).
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